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Reflections on icons and iconography.
On our way to the coffee shop, Zoe kept slipping into random stores and announcing to the strangers she met that she had a “boo-boo.”
My granddaughter has recently taken to making a crying fuss about being put to bed at night.
The poetic story of Job from the Old Testament of the Bible is great. Recently, Job’s story was knit together in my mind with thoughts about my granddaughter.
God loves us, and we can find this to be so in the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes we are watching and listening for it. Sometimes we are not.
“How can you not like a color?”
"My friend, both of us at this moment are in the Spirit, you and I.” These pinnacle words from the historic conversation between Nikolay Motovilov and Saint Seraphim of Sarov express a concept awash in my mind as I tend to the care of my granddaughter.
In my former home parish of Saint Michael, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, I incorporated a stylized wheat and grapevine motif into the walls’ adornment. While they are a lovely choice visually, the real beauty is in their meaning.
Iconographers are “theologians of colour” because they write in line and colour what a theologian writes with pen and paper - spiritual experience. I paint the icon of the Holy Protection because St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ was granted to see that spiritual reality. My hand traces forms designed long ago until my eyes rest on scenes not yet depicted, if entirely in sync with the form and content our Church has sanctioned for centuries.
I am often asked about the rules governing the way icons look. Orthodox icons seem to look alike or at least similar. From this similarity comes the conclusion that apparently fierce guidelines are being followed.
I am met with various levels of disbelief when I try to explain that these believed-to-be-so rules do not in fact exist.
Some Christians get put through a ringer before they celebrate Easter.